Brought to you by Steve Harper and Tubby Van Loan.
The Harper government on Friday introduced legislation requiring all voters — including veiled Muslim women — to show their faces before being allowed to cast ballots in federal elections.Which now means that people appearing in front of a deputy returning officer to vote will undoubtedly require some form of government issued photo ID. Otherwise, what's the purpose of making people bare their faces?
Peter Van Loan, the minister responsible for democratic reform, said he hopes the bill will settle the potentially corrosive debate over the accommodation of diverse religious beliefs.Therein lies the crux of this whole thing. There was no real issue. Harper tried to turn it into one, only to be given a clinic in regulation reading and interpretation by Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand.
But opposition parties and some Muslim groups suggested it will do just the opposite. They fear the bill will give a national podium to the heated debate that has provoked some ugly anti-immigrant sentiment in Quebec.
Interpret this move any way you like. This is pandering to a group of islamophobes and racists.